Carolyn Cornell Holland (COMe)
A SMORGASBORD OF LEFTOVERS
Beethovan’s Fifth provided quiet background music as I “nested” on the couch, cuddling under a Christmas coverlet featuring the Twelve Days of Christmas. A small table beside me held a cup of hot chocolate, a bowl of popcorn, and a novel picked out of my “books to read” pile. Our Border collie, Tag, was curled up by my feet. Christmas tree lights filled the room with a soft glow. I glanced over to the window and saw soft, gentle snowflakes drifting through the air.
It was January 2, 1986. 4:30 p.m. The rush of the holidays was over. Cozy in my jammies, I figured I could sneak in a quiet hour before even thinking about gathering holiday leftovers to create a dinner for my family—husband Monte, daughter Sandy, 15, and son Nolan, 13. Monte was in the back room preparing a sermon. Nolan was in his room doing homework. Sandy was at a friend’s house.
All was well. I delved into my novel, forgetting the world around me.
The front door opened at 6:00 p.m. Sandy, her coat covered with white snowflakes, walked into the living room.
“Mom,” she said. “Suzanne and Emmanuel arrived just as I walked up the driveway.”
Emmanuel and Suzanne, friends from Slippery Rock, followed Sandy into the room. I was surprised but delighted, and greeted them warmly.
“You’re ready for bed already?” Suzanne asked.
“I never got dressed today,” I answered honestly. “It was so peaceful after the hectic holidays. What brings you here?”
“Dinner?” Suzanne said hesitatingly.
That’s when it registered. I’d forgotten that Monte and I had invited them to join us for dinner this night. Nothing was prepared because I was serving the family a mishmash of holiday leftovers, help-yourself style.
Suzanne and Emmanuel, Slippery Rock University graduate students from Africa, took the situation good naturedly. And I tried to be graceful as I tied my robe firmly over my jammies.
Suzanne helped me prepare the meal, which turned out delightful. After they had their fill and we’d visited for a while they put on their coats and left. They wanted to be back in Slippery Rock before the weather worsened.
“This will be a whopper of a tale about Americans that you can take back home with you,” I said as I waved them off. Their grins told me they’d enjoyed the evening as much as I did.
So why tell this story?
It’s because it’s an ultimately human story. We all goof. Sometimes forget that we’ve invited a guest to fill a seat at our table.
And I’m certain of one thing. It not only happens at American tables, it happens at tables in countries around the globe. We’d experienced a local act that is global in nature. Humans are behave humanly—forgetting things, forgiving things, making the best of situations—regardless of where on the globe they live.
NOTE: The WordPress daily prompt for February 20, 2015, was Think Global, Act Local. This writing I found in my files reverses the thought, but contains the essence of the idea.
SOURCE of PHOTO
“Julbord”. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Julbord.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Julbord.jpg